Monday, April 17, 2006

Slow and Steady

The last time I checked the S&P was up just under 3% for the year. Considering that almost a third of the year is gone (that was fast!), the market has been looking fairly average at best. But doesn't it seem like it's going to correct a bit? Where is the good news?

It seems like the majority of the stories out there are more for the negative side. Let's see what we have:
Housing prices are starting to drop around the nation, which may help along a recession.
Interest rates are rising and this will hurt interest rate sensitive stocks (like banks) and other types of loans (how about all those people paying interest only loans?)
Oil just hit over $70 a barrel. I'm paying $3/gallon right now.
Consumer spending hasn't been strong at all.
The tech sector has been lackluster with below average earnings reports, slowing growth, too much inventory, and falling prices (see semiconductors, flash memory, etc.)
Many natural resources are making multi-year highs and that's adding to the costs of many products
What's going to drive the market up? Is it the finance stocks? Tech (Google is slowing, Microsoft still hasn't done anything, Intel keeps dropping)? Retailers? What industry?

It might come down to a best of breed market, where the best companies will outperform and there won't necessarily be any hot industries.

In other news, I'm keeping my eye on JNJ.